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physiology, having on this subject a good deal of original matter to communicate, founded on my own observations. I had, however, good reasons for not acceding to this proposal. It would have been very ungracious towards Mr. Wilson, who had always treated me with much kindness, and such a step on my part would have made it difficult for him to dispose of his interest in the Windmill Street School to any one else ; and I had myself abundant occupation besides afforded me in the performance of my duties at the hospital and as a lecturer on surgery. Having consulted Dr. Baillie and Sir Everard Home on the subject, I found that their advice corresponded with my own inclinations; and I therefore communicated to Mr. Wilson, first, that I must decline the offer which he had made me, and secondly, that I would not stand in the way of his making the arrangement which he wished to make with some other person, and that I would willingly retire whenever he had done so. The result was that Sir Charles Bell purchased Mr. Wilson's museum, and took my place as a lecturer on anatomy.
I had been engaged as a teacher of anatomy for seven years, passing always a part of each day in the dissecting-room. Thus I had become very familiar with the subject, so that the impressions made on my mind, and repeated over and over again at a period of life when the memory is in its greatest vigour, have never since become erased. Even at the present day, after the lapse of forty years, I retain all the anatomical knowledge which is required for the purposes of professional practice; and I have little doubt that if I were to return for a short time to the labours of the dissecting-room, I should have no difficulty in resuming my early duties as a demonstrator of anatomy. I have, therefore, nothing to regret in having ceased to be an anatomical teacher; while I am at the same time aware that if I had done otherwise I should not have been able to obtain so extensive a knowledge of diseases and of surgical treatment as I now possess.
During the two or three following years my recollection furnishes me with very little which is worthy of being recorded even in this egotistical memoir. My mode of life was uniform enough. I was constant in my attendance at the hospital, not only doing what was required for the patients, but taking notes of and studying their cases, attending to what little private practice I had obtained, seeing from time to time some of Sir Everard Home's patients when he required assistance or was out of the way, assisting him in dissections in comparative anatomy, and reading some professional books, not in any very systematic way, but for the most part using them for the purpose of reference, as the occasion required. At the same time, though there was little variety in my pursuits, my life was by no means monotonous. I had the advantage of a good deal of agreeable society, and in addition to those whom I have already mentioned, had acquired some valuable friends. Among these I may especially mention Sir Thomas Plumer, who, when I first knew him, held the office of Attorney-General, and afterwards that of Vice-Chancellor and Master of the Rolls. There was as much friendship between us as there could be between a very young man
who was working his way upwards, and another nearly thirty years more advanced in life; and from him and his family I received the most constant kindness and attention until the period of his death, in the year 1823.
I am not certain whether it was in 1814 or 1815 that I first became acquainted with the late Lord and Lady Holland. As I have already mentioned, Lord Holland's father had been my own father's friend and patron, to whom he was indebted for the only church preferment which he possessed. My brother-inlaw, Marsh, had been Lord Holland's tutor at Christ Church, had afterwards travelled with him on the Continent, and become from that period his most intimate friend. It so happened that Lord Holland had been admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society on the Thursday after the anniversary on which I received the Copley medal, and when the address made by Sir Joseph Banks to me on that occasion was read as a part of the minutes. It was, I suppose, from this combination of circumstances that I was afterwards invited to Holland House. By degrees I became a frequent visitor there, and was on terms of much intimacy with Lord Holland until he died, in 1810, and with Lady Holland afterwards. I know not how it was that they liked me at first so well as they did, for in general society I was at this time, and for some years afterwards, a shy and diffident young man, contributing very little to conversation, and not feeling myself at home among the politicians and persons of rank who met at Holland House, as I did among my friends of the Royal Society and those of my own profession or of the law. However, so it was; and their friendship and kindness was never interrupted. Lord Holland was himself one of the kindest of human beings, at the same time being a zealous politician, a thorough Whig, a Liberal in the very best sense of the word, and that not only in politics, but in everything else. Not what used to be called a democrat, but at the same time valuing others more with reference to their general character, talents, and acquirements, than to their rank or station. He was an accomplished scholar, well acquainted with general literature, delighting in